TWO men are due to appear in court on Monday charged over the death of a policewoman.
Constable Philippa Reynolds, 27, died in a crash involving a stolen car at the Limavady Road, Derry, at 3.40 am on Saturday.
The men, aged 25 and 23, face a series of charges including aggravated vehicle taking causing death or grievous bodily injury.
Both are due to appear at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
The 25 year old has been charged with 10 offences including causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking causing death or grievous bodily injury, burglary and driving while unfit.
The 23 year old has been charged with four offences: aggravated vehicle taking causing death or grievous bodily injury, burglary, criminal damage and assisting an offender.
The DUP has submitted a request to Speaker’s Office in the Assembly to hold a matter of the day debate in the Assembly on the death of Constable Reynolds.
Constable Reynolds, from Crumlin, Co Antrim, was a back seat passenger in an unmarked police car on a routine patrol at the time of the crash. Two officers who were also in the police vehicle were hurt but not seriously injured.
The PSNI Chief Constable said on Saturday that it was “with great sadness” that he learned of the death.
“This is a personal tragedy for her family and also for the whole Police Service,” said Matt Baggott.
“She was out on duty, working to keep people safe, when she died.
“My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. I and my colleagues will ensure that no stone remains unturned as we work to bring to justice those who perpetrated this crime.”
PSNI district commander Stephen Cargin said Constable Reynolds was “in the prime of her life, beautiful, friendly”.
“(She was) one of the most enthusiastic officers, just a really bubbly personality, somebody who wanted to be a police officer,” he said.
“Her colleagues are devastated, as I am as her commander, as we are as a police service, but she just typifies her colleagues – out there doing a good job.”
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers said it was a “tragic waste of a young life in sad and reckless circumstances”.
Northern Ireland’s first and deputy first ministers also expressed sympathy.
In a statement, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said: “Officers in the PSNI put their lives at risk on a daily basis to serve and protect our community and we are all truly grateful for their dedicated service.
“Those who commit a crime such as vehicle theft must realise their actions can have serious consequences.”
Justice Minister David Ford said his thoughts and prayers were with the woman’s family.
“I also send my best wishes to the two officers injured in this incident for a speedy and full recovery,” he said.
“It is hard to imagine how they, and indeed the wider PSNI family, are feeling.”
Chairman of Northern Ireland’s Policing Board, Brian Rea, said he was shocked by the incident.
“To lose a colleague, out on patrol protecting the community, is a terrible blow to the PSNI,” he said.
Mark Durkan, SDLP MP for Foyle, said the policewoman was “tragically killed in the line of duty whilst doing her job to protect the community.”
The shock felt across the community will be matched with disgust that such criminal activity has led to this tragic death.
“My sympathies go out to her family and friends at this very difficult time, as they struggle to come to terms with this tragic news. My thoughts are also with the wider police family, not least those who were on duty alongside her, who have lost both a friend and a colleague,” Mr Durkan added.
Stormont Justice Minister David Ford said his thoughts were with the policewoman’s relatives and the injured officers.
“I was shocked to hear of this tragic incident which resulted in the death of a police constable who was carrying out her duties serving the community in the middle of the night,” he said.
“My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.
“I also send my best wishes to the two officers injured in this incident for a speedy and full recovery. It is hard to imagine how they, and indeed the wider PSNI family, are feeling.”
Ross Hussey, Ulster Unionist Policing Board Member, said: “This young woman’s death in the line of duty serves to re-emphasise the dangers faced by the officers of the Police Service of Northern Ireland on a daily basis, as they put themselves in harm’s way to protect the whole community.”
“They deserve our full support,” the West Tyrone MLA said.
Brian Rea, Chair of the Policing Board, said “los(ing) a colleague, out on patrol protecting the community, is a terrible blow to the PSNI”.
“On behalf of the Policing Board I would like to offer deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of this young woman,” Mr Rea said.
“They will have received the terrible news this morning and will be devastated by this tragic event.”
Raymond McCartney, Sinn Féin Foyle MLA, has also expressed his condolences.
“I would like to offer my condolences to the family of the young policewomen who died in last night’s tragic incident. And would urge anyone who has any information in relation to it, to bring it forward to the PSNI straight away,” the vice chair of the Justice Committee said.
The Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, has extended his deepest sympathies on the death of the young police officer.
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with our friends in Northern Ireland as they mourn the loss of their colleague. We also wish a speedy recovery to the officers injured in the incident,” he said.
Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them .
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Strand Road Police Station on 0845 600 8000 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.